Our song: Getting Better All the Time by Brooks and Dunn
Publication Date: December 7, 2009
Cover art by Renee Rocco
Series: Elemental Magic Book 1
Tag: When telepath meets ex-cop, will it be death or diamonds.
*Note* Series titles build on the previous book and should be read in order.
Blurb: Writer Liv Corrigan has the worst luck with men — her telepathy tends to make them run for the hills. When she meets widower and ex-cop Jack Roarke, she decides to keep her talent hidden. Things are looking up until their third date crashes and burns as the man who murdered Jack’s wife turns out to be after him too.
Injured, Jack retreats with Liv to his house under armed guard. But with Liv’s mysteries rapidly coming unraveled, a diamond-thief killer to stop and passion in the air, the safe house is anything but safe for their hearts!
Excerpt #1 (first meet)
Earth Enchanted© 2009 Brynna Curry – All Rights Reserved
Jack scanned the bookstore as he sat in the hard metal folding chair, at the small table, and wrote. He thought his hand would fall off. Whoever said writing wasn’t real work had to have been crazy. He knew things about two hours’ worth of people their mothers probably didn’t know. Mandy Lou something or other had a granny who thought he was grade A and she was his number one fan. She didn’t look old enough to be allowed to read his brand of horror, but she had two copies of each of his books.Jack had politely—he hoped—shrugged off the forty invitations to dinner, fourteen offers for coffee, and two very indecent proposals for ‘wild, hanging from the chandelier sex’ to quote one lovely fan. All in all, a long day barely described it, but he’d seen people and observed, that was for sure. If it helped with the new book, it might have been worth it, and then again maybe not.Ellie dropped by to see how things were going, and then promptly ran away when he tried to beg out. He didn’t like being maneuvered, and Ellie was a champion at it. Entertaining the notion of strangling her got him through the second hour, but considering he needed a good editor, he changed his mind.The line grew shorter. While he juggled the newest Hastings baby on his knee, which the boy’s proud papa had insisted on, Jack inscribed a message in the front cover to Mrs. Hastings, another number one fan and the mother of six children all under ten. How does she have the time to read at all? His message to her read, “Mrs. Hastings, I’m your number one fan. You rule. Jack.” Mentally saluting her efforts, he passed back junior, and sent them on their way. He automatically reached for the book a slim hand offered. Eyes down on the cover of what he’d created, he said the same thing he’d told countless others. “Hi, who should I make this out to?”“Just sign it to Olivia Corrigan, fellow mystery writer.”Her voice alone lifted his eyes to meet hers, a musical lilt that teased of mist and bogs, faeries and leprechauns. She was dressed professionally, but he could easily imagine her calling up a wild wind or casting spells. She was only about 5’4” and slim, claimed black Irish coloring. He saw a flash of what might have been a premonition, but after blocking the gift so long he couldn’t hold on to it. Did he smell rain? Candles or lightning? But the sun was shining. For a moment he just stared, couldn’t speak , and was certain he knew her but couldn’t remember where from.
“Is something the matter?”
He quickly signed her book, before he forgot that was the reason for their meeting in the first place. She was the last in line, and he was free. Thank God! Sorry, muse, position filled.
“Jack Roarke, it’s a pleasure, Miss Corrigan.”
Excerpt #2 from Earth Enchanted
No light reached here in the bowels of the city. The air was thick with the stench of garbage, smoke, and prostitution for those lovely people who didn’t care enough to rent a room.
Summer heat in northern Alabama, the thermometer had been bursting at 103 degrees by noon, made the smell walk like a living thing. Sissy passed her penlight beam over the building’s brick wall. Graffiti announced the sort of things one human being could do to another. ‘Mickey,’ Jack’s informant, always showed on the signal, but not this time. He had a gut feeling to grab his wife, turn and run as hard and fast as he could. The premonition flashed through him dark and heavy.
Copper, the raw taste of fear, slid over his tongue. Both drew, half expecting to find the informant dead, definitely to find trouble. Neck deep in a suspected smuggling ring, they’d had their share of scrapes lately.
Jack screamed at her and his dream self, though he knew she couldn’t hear him.
“Run, baby, please.”
Why? Why do I have to watch over and over again? His heart and soul cried out from the wrenching pain. Please, God, have mercy! Just let me die with her this time.
He finally felt the prickles of warning on the back of his neck. The nauseating pain spread from the base of his skull to his temples and lastly in front of his eyes. Finally able to see the threat, Jack knew, the vision came far too late. Someone was watching them, unseen from high atop the neighboring building.
“Get out, Sissy!” Jack screamed. “It’s a trap! Run!” He fired two shots in the direction of his unknown attacker.
Three shots pealed through the dark. Two pinged off the brick. She turned toward his shouted warning and barely had time to call out before the third slammed into her chest. Dazed, she clutched her breast.
Jack returned the fire instinctively, getting off another six rounds, before the gun dropped from his hand. A dark stain spread across her white silk dinner blouse. He caught her as she cried out and crumpled to the ground. He pressed his hand over hers, a futile attempt to staunch the wound.
All that blood, so much gushing out of the hole in her heart. Oh, God!
It pulsed and dripped across her hand where his ring rested on her slim finger. An hour ago, it had seemed they had a lifetime to live, love, but now they might have minutes only. Maybe not even that long. He’d seen men die, had killed before, but nothing compared to watching the woman he loved bleed to death in his arms. There wasn’t anything he could do.
“Help us! Somebody!” He rocked her back and forth gently, and dug his cellphone out of his pocket. The alley fell silent. Her attacker had accomplished his mission.
Another vision came, along with a sickening sense of loss. She would be gone before help would come. Helpless, Jack fought back the drowning tears and grief he already felt, and lied to her. “It’s going to be all right, Sissy, just hold on to me.” He stroked her hair, kissed her cheek. She shuddered in his arms as though she’d never be warm again. He dialed 9-1-1. “Detective Jackson Roarke. I need a bus at…” He rattled off the address. “Officer down, I repeat officer down. Bullet wound to the chest. Hurry, damn it!”
“Don’t lie to me. I’m as good…as dead. You see it.” Her breath hitched as blood gurgled from her throat and stained her lips.
“Catch them for me, Jack. Promise me.” She clutched his shirt, pleading.
“I will, but you’ll help me. You’ll be there to help me.”
He looked back toward the gaping mouth of the alley. Where were the medics? He couldn’t panic, couldn’t afford to let his mind go frantic. Maybe he was wrong and what he saw wouldn’t come to pass. When he was about to give up all hope, the screaming sirens ripped the night air. Help was here. His vision had to be wrong, born of panic instead of the gift. Serena must live.
“Almost here.” She was so cold. How could she be so cold already?
“Don’t say it, not now.”
“Live.” She whispered, “Just live.”
He felt Serena’s spirit leave her body before fingers left a trail of blood to mix with his tears. Her bright green eyes lost their spark, faded and then saw nothing. His vision had happened. Serena Roarke was dead.
He shook her, rocked her, begged and pleaded. He cursed God and the devil, but she was beyond him now. Jack looked down to the bright red covering the concrete, her and him. Never again, he thought. Even though he wasn’t exactly sure what that meant. He tossed his shield on the ground, where their weapons lay in her pooling blood. Cradling his dead wife in his arms, Jack curled into a ball, rocked her lifeless body, and sobbed inconsolably.
Excerpt #3 from Earth Enchanted
Ryan sat alone in his dark study, and waited. The call would come at midnight, exactly. He knew it, expected it to come. It was never late. He had the ringer switched off, of course, so it wouldn’t wake Liv. When the caller ID flashed green, he picked up the receiver, and spoke quietly into the phone.
“Do you have the lady?” the man on the line asked. His voice seemed to come through sand.
“I have her, and she’s safe.” It was what he always said, meaning he picked up the Madonna statue, and she was hidden.
“Ground her for two weeks, and then bring her to the usual place.”
“Yes, sir.” He just wanted this conversation over so he could go on with life for another day and pretend everything would be okay. If only he had something useful to hand over, maybe he could squeeze his way out of this mess. The broken silence interrupted his whining.
“Corrigan, I don’t have to remind you to come alone, or not to involve anyone else, do I? Remember the last time?” The man was laughing at him, the sickening sound of someone who knew what it was to murder and reveled in it. “Yes I can see you do. You dug her grave nice and deep with that little call, and ruined a great many lives in the process. You didn’t even manage to do anything to help yourself either, so I’d think twice before trying again.”
His skin iced cold while his stomach wrenched itself into knots. “I remember. It will not happen again.” Another pause left the dread hanging in the air.
“No, this time I’ll make sure it will matter to you.”
Temper struck in full force when his tormentor scoffed at that young life lost. “It did matter. She didn’t deserve what you did to her.”
“Take care not to raise your voice to me. I only have so much patience for fools. Your mother’s garden is nice this time of year. She plants something new every day…”
Ryan sunk into the chair at the thought of losing his mother.
“And your brother haunts those brooding cliffs that overlook the sea, sits for hours with a brush in hand and never paints a thing, just stares. Quite boring, that one, though according to my sources he maintains an interesting string of Irish lasses at his beck and call.”
He’d known his family would be targeted if he tried to escape again.
“But no, I don’t think I’ll have to go that far, will I? You’ve made things nice and tidy. Olivia is a beautiful woman. I won’t let her die easy. No, I think I will have my fill of her first. Can you see her begging for her death, Corrigan? You remember that, because her breath will be gone before I will grant her request for mercy.”
Ryan could see the picture clear in his mind, her pretty dark hair soaked with blood, eyes staring blindly. He’d not be the cause of anyone’s death, never again. No, he’d do what he was told until death caught him, or God saw fit to save his miserable soul. “I won’t try anything. There’s no need to hurt her.”
A reply didn’t come. The line had gone dead.
You Gotta Read!
“Ms. Curry took a simple idea for a plot and packed it full of story. Of, finding love again, to being in trouble, to causing the trouble and getting out of trouble. The characters are real and fallible. I can’t wait to read the rest of this series.” Jennifer – You Gotta Read Reviews
“Put the two writers of mystery novels together, Liv and Jack, and give them a plot that puts them in the centre of the action and you will not put the book down until you’ve turned the last page. This was a thoroughly enchanting story.” Fennel – LASR
“…must try some more from this writer.” WitchGiggles – TJ Book List
“Ms. Curry is very creative in her writing of a devious plot with a villain, murder, and a jewel thief, who I still am curious about. ” Goddess Minx – Literary Nymphs Reviews
“I am definitely looking forward to the next story and will want to follow through the series.” Emma D – Bitten by Books
If you are looking for a great suspenseful crime story with a touch of magic, Earth Enchanted is for you. I know that once you get hooked on these characters, you will feel the need to help end the curse in the future books and rejoice in the generous nature of true love. – Melissa – Sizzling Hot Book Reviews